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There once was a crooked little girl who lived in a small, crooked shack in a small crooked town. This little girl worked every day at the local bakery, selling baked goods and sometimes casually conversing with the customers. Very rarely, however, did she get to talk to the baker himself.
One day, a fisherman walked in, with a mop of gray hair, dirty, lime green clothes, and a bright yellow hat. He picked a loaf of bread; a fine loaf of bread, one that was baked that morning, and brought it to the girl to purchase it.
“What a fine piece of bread for a fine celebration!” said the fisherman. “I have recruited a young lad to help me catch a fine Merlin!”
“Oh, that sounds great, sir!” said the little girl. She collected the money from the fisherman in exchange for the bread. Before the man left, the girl asked, “Do you think I could go fishing with you one day?”
The fisherman laughed. “Foolish girl! With those crooked eyes, you wouldn’t even be able to tell which direction the sun is setting!” And with a final laugh, the fisherman walked out and continued his day while the little girl sat in the bakery alone.
The next day, a teacher walked in, with a tight chignon upon her head, and a black and pink dress. She picked a large piece of cake, one that was frosted that morning, and brought it to the girl to purchase it.
“What a fine piece of cake!” said the teacher. “I am holding a celebration for my new dance students!”
“Oh, that sounds great, ma’m!” said the little girl. She collected the money from the teacher in exchange for the piece of cake. Before the lady left, the girl asked, “Do you think I could learn to dance one day, as well?”
The teacher laughed. “Silly girl! With those crooked feet and crooked toes, you will never be able to arabesque!” And with her nose pointed up and her back straight, the teacher walked out and continued her day while the little girl sat in the bakery alone.
The day after that, an accordion player walked in, with dark brown suspenders, lean slacks and a felt hat. He picked out a cherry pie, one that was baked that morning, and brought it to the girl to purchase it.
“What a fine pie!” said the accordion player. “I am rewarding my son for finally learning how to play this fine instrument,” as he gestured to his accordion.
“That sounds great, sir,” said the little girl. She collected the money from the teacher in exchange for the pie. Before the man left, the girl asked, “Do you think I could learn to play the accordion one day, like your son?”
The accordion player laughed and shook his head. “With those crooked fingers, you will never be able to do much!” And with that, he left.
Now after conversing with the fisherman, the teacher, and the accordion player, the crooked little girl was saddened, and felt a feeling of despair.
The next day, however, the baker, who had mousy brown hair that showed wisdom with its gray lightning streaks, a flour dusted apron, and wrinkles around her eyes, paid a visit to the crooked little girl. When the baker saw tears in the little girl’s eyes, she asked, “My dear, why are you crying?”
The little girl responded, “I have crooked eyes, so I will never be able to fish with the fisherman. I have crooked feet and toes, so I will never be able to dance like the teacher. And I have crooked fingers, so I will never be able to play the accordion-“
Without finishing, the crooked little girl broke into sobs. The baker took the girl and hugged her.
“My dear, people may tell you that you have crooked eyes, or crooked feet, crooked toes, or even crooked fingers,” the baker said. She paused and held the crooked little girl by her shoulders, and continued to speak.
“But always remember, you are the only one in this town who does not have a crooked heart.”